After the Moon and Mars, ISRO eyes Venus for next exploration mission


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After the successful launch of its Mars orbiter, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is now viewing Venus as possibly the next planet it can study and explore.

“Besides the Mars-2 mission, we are looking at Venus and even an asteroid for exploration. A project has to be formulated for this before we chart out a proper roadmap for the explorations.  Venus is our neighbour and has many scientific challenges and aspects that need to be studied. Exploring an asteroid is also challenging task,” Dr Kiran Kumar, Isro chairman, told HT.

In 2014, India created history in space when its Mars orbiter slipped into the Red Planet’s orbit in its maiden attempt.

India became the first Asian country to reach Mars and the first in the world to enter the orbit of the planet in its first attempt.

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Photo of Mars as taken by ISRO’s Mars Oriber Mission

Regarding the Saarc satellite, Dr Kumar said that it would be launched before December 2016. “The activities related to this project are in progress and we should begin building the satellite soon.”

Moving beyond satellite launches and planetary explorations, Isro is also aggressively working with many government departments on optimising the usage of space tools and data.

A national meet on space is likely to be held in Delhi next month, where ministries and departments of the government will give presentations on how they are using space tools in their workings. From civil aviation to railways, tribal affairs to health, postal to agriculture the number of government departments working with Isro has increased to more than 60 in the past few months.

Source : HindustanTimes

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Moon Experiences Quake Just Like Earthquake


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As the earthquake is still an unsolved mystery for the scientists, by adding another, an Indian scientist has discovered that moon also feels tremors and quakes like earth.

The discovery is made by India’s first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 as the scientist has revealed that when the tectonic plates of moon collide, causes Quakes just like earthquake.

The plates make up the crust and upper surface and when it collide together, it causes moon-quake.

The discovery is noted out by Saumitra Mukherjee, a Professor of Geology and Remote Sensing at the School of Environmental Sciences in Jawaharlal Nehru University and a student of the university Priyadarshini Singh.

The images providing clues to the occurrence of quakes on the Moon, were captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera and Narrow Angle camera aboard Chandrayaan-1.

The images depict South Polar region of the Moon and spews clue on the presence of tectonic plates which when move can cause quakes similar to earthquakes, explained study authors.

Launched in 2008, the main aim of the Chandrayaan-1 was to make a 3-dimentsional model of the Moon and mapping of chemical composition on its surface.

The discovery will help the researchers as they may be able to predict quakes on the Moon going ahead, by analyzing tectonic plate movements on the Moon and comparing them with earthquakes.

Source : ISRO

ISRO plans second mission to Mars in 2018


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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch second mission to Mars with a lander and rover to carry out more experiments on the red planet.

The proposed plans come after the Indian space agency has successfully placed its unmanned Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft to the Martian orbit in September.

ISRO satellite centre director Shiva Kumar was quoted by IANS as saying: “We plan to launch a second mission to Mars in 2018, probably with a lander and rover, to conduct more experiments for which we have to develop new technologies.

“We will be able to take the Mars-2 mission after launching the second mission to the moon (Chandrayaan-2) in 2016 with our own lander and rover, which will help us develop a separate lander and rover for the red planet.”

The agency is looking to launch the programme in 2018 as the missions to Mars can be launched at two year intervals.

ISRO intends to have fully operational heavy rockets ready by then to carry communication satellites weighing around 3t into the geo-stationary orbits around the earth.

In line with this plans, the agency has developed the geo-synchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV Mark I-III) to launch heavier communication satellites.

GSLV Mark-III is scheduled to take its first partial test flight in early December.

ISRO chairman Radhakrishnan was quoted by The Hindu as saying that the test flight will lead to a ‘future workhorse vehicle that will stay with us for many years’.

Tests will be conducted on unmanned crew module of the three-stage launch vehicle, to evaluate heating during its re-entry and its behaviour in the crucial space phase.

Source : aerospace-technology